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Archive for August, 2009

Source: www.ibdeditorials.com

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Health Systems: Health care in France is often held up as a model the U.S. might follow. Yet the French have their own problems that show there’s no such thing as a free lunch — or a free doctor’s visit.

Call it the grass-is-greener syndrome. Advocates of national health care, acknowledging the flaws in ObamaCare yet despising the current U.S. system that has the best medicines, the best medical equipment and the shortest waiting lists, have turned their eyes lovingly to places like France.

As City Journal contributing editor Guy Sorman notes, the French would also love to have the low-cost, high-service system some Americans gush about. Unfortunately, they don’t. France’s system isn’t that cheap and is financed by high taxes on labor that have heavy economic consequences.

Sorman notes that a Frenchman making a monthly salary of 3,000 euros has 350 of them deducted for health insurance. Then the employer throws in an additional 1,200 euros. This raises the cost of labor to prohibitive levels and puts a brake on economic growth. This helps explain why French unemployment hovers around 10%.

France imposes an additional tax levy to cover the constant deficits that national health insurance runs.

The French Parliament raises this levy, which applies to all forms of income, every year. Altogether, Sorman writes, “25% of French national income goes toward what’s called Social Security, which includes health care and basic retirement pensions for all.”

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Source: BrokenCountry.com

There has been a lot said over the past few months about President Obama’s plan to nationalize health care in America.    People have been vilified,  groups attacked and congress and the senate have taken an amazing amount of heat over this incredibly divisive issue. The national media, once on board and supporting socialized medicine, have shown Americans the protests on a daily basis, much to the dismay of the democrats and President Obama.

But the real reason health care reform will not ever see the light of day isn’t the protests. It’s not because of the fierce resistance that Obama has seen from the American people. The real reason it will fail is because of the outright arrogance of President Obama himself. The big heads in the media have briefly mentioned how incredibly angry Obama has made some members of the senate, but they have not gone into any real detail.

You see, Obama seems to think that because he is Obama, he will simply always get his way in Washington. For those of you that have not noticed, Obama is half black, which by default means he should always get his way. We have all seen what has happened to people that refuse to go along with President Obama. I have been accused of it right here on brokencountry.com. If you refuse to simply lay down and let Obama dance all over you, well then you are a racist.

Don’t believe me? Here is a link to a black congresswoman making threats about racist America trying to destroy President Obama by opposing health care reform. This received little or no media coverage, yet when Lynn Jenkins, a freshman Republican congresswoman from Kansas said that the Republican party was looking for a “Great white hope” to counteract Obama, it was splashed across headlines all over America.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Only nine states have the costly rules that Obama wants to impose nationwide.

The White House is priming the defibrillator paddles to revive ObamaCare, and its new strategy is to talk about “health-insurance reform,” rather than “health-care reform.” The point is to make its proposals seem less radical than they are, while portraying private insurers as villains for supposedly denying coverage to the sick.

Sounds like a good time to explain a few facts about the modern insurance market. Start with the reality that nine out of 10 people under 65 are covered by their employers, most of which cover all employees and charge everyone the same rate. President Obama’s horror stories are about the individual insurance market, where some 15 million people buy coverage outside of the workplace.

Mr. Obama does have a point about insurance security. If you develop an expensive condition such as cancer or heart disease, and then get fired or divorced or your employer goes out of business—then individual insurance is going to be very expensive if it’s available. But what the President and Democrats won’t tell you is that these problems are the result mainly of government intervention.

Because the tax code subsidizes private insurance only when it is sponsored by an employer, the individual market is relatively small and its turnover rate is very high. Most policyholders are enrolled for fewer than 24 months as they move between jobs, making it difficult for insurers to maintain large risk pools to spread costs.

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Source: Salon.com

Obama’s healthcare horror

By Camille Paglia

Aug. 12, 2009 | Buyer’s remorse? Not me. At the North American summit in Guadalajara this week, President Obama resumed the role he is best at — representing the U.S. with dignity and authority abroad. This is why I, for one, voted for Obama and continue to support him. The damage done to U.S. prestige by the feckless, buffoonish George W. Bush will take years to repair. Obama has barely begun the crucial mission that he was elected to do.

Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, and hope it’s a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.

Case in point: the administration’s grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton’s megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.

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flap_eagle

I met a Marine on the beach last week and it was awesome. 

My family of six was invited by my gracious in-laws to vacation at the beach.  On Thursday we were doing what families do on the beach, when I looked up and saw that my five-year old son, wearing goggles, in search of sunken treasure in a two-foot deep tidal pool, had invaded the space of a young family (husband, wife, two-year old son).  In typical fashion he struck up a conversation with them and soon the rest of my family moved in to socialize.  My wife and son talked with them for close to an hour- the father carried on a long conversation with my five-year old about sea life, indulging his curiosity and imagination.  His wife and my wife talked about kids and life and school (I have returned to medical school later in life and the father was considering further education). 

When my other sons and I came out of the waves my wife told me that Kevin (the father) had recently left the Marine Corps where he had served three tours in Iraq.  He and his family were in the process of moving forward with life after the Marines- gainful employment, the American dream, etc.- the sort of aspirations that we all share. 

My family has developed a custom in recent years, when we encounter members of the armed services in public we shake their hands and thank them for their service.  We want them to know how grateful for them and indebted to them we are.  We tell them that we support them.  My sons and I approached Kevin, shook his hand, and expressed our gratitude.  Kevin was taken off-guard at first but responded in a quiet, humble manner similar to how others have responded- ‘Your welcome, glad to do it.  Thank you for saying thank you.’  He did say that he had not been approached like that before. 

A few minutes later it was time for Kevin’s son to take his afternoon nap and the trio left the beach.  Kevin returned about 20 minutes later and walked straight over to where we were.  The boys were in the waves and I was watching my daughter.  Kevin walked up to me and handed me a small ribbon, the sort of which goes on the breast of a military uniform.  It was green with white bars toward either end; in the center was affixed a bronze ‘V’. 

Kevin said, “I want you and your family to have this.  Tell your sons that they have met a Marine.”

I protested, “This is too great a gift, you earned this, it should not be given lightly.”

“I am glad to give it to you and your family,” he said.

“Well, what does it mean? What does the V stand for? I want to be able to tell them about it.”

“It is a ribbon I got in the service, just a ribbon.  The V stands for Valor,” he said quietly, obviously not wanting to go into further detail.  “You tell them that a Marine gave it to them.  And thank you.”

Then he walked off the beach. 

That night I did some research.  It is the ribbon that accompanies the Navy & Marine Commendation Medal.  The Medal was established in 1943 and is awarded “to service members who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement or meritorious service.”   The ‘V’ does stand for Valor and is called the Combat Distinguishing Device- as it indicates the award is for acts done in the course of direct combat with the enemy.

His family must be proud.  My family and I are the better for having met Kevin and our nation is the better for having men like him.

 There are things in life to make us weep- the generosity of a humble, young Marine-husband-father to my family and our nation brings tears to my eyes.

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Source: AmericanThinker.com

By Zane F Pollard, MD

I have been sitting quietly on the sidelines watching all of this national debate on healthcare. It is time for me to bring some clarity to the table by explaining many of the problems from the perspective of a doctor.
First off, the government has involved very few of us physicians in the  healthcare debate. While the American Medical Associationhas come out in favor of the plan, it is vital to remember that the AMA only represents 17% of the American physician workforce.
 

I have taken care of Medicaid patients for 35 years while representing the only pediatric ophthalmology group left in Atlanta, Georgia that accepts Medicaid. For example, in the past 6 months I have cared for three young children on Medicaid who had corneal ulcers. This is a potentially blinding situation because if the cornea perforates from the infection, almost surely blindness will occur. In all three cases the antibiotic needed for the eradication of the infection was not on the approved Medicaid list. 

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This was mailed to our Senator today:

The healthcare reform bill under consideration in the Senate would would not solve the healthcare problems in America.  It would destroy the private insurance market, create a massive new government bureaucracy, and it would codify and expand the inefficiency/ineffectiveness that we currently see in the Medicaid, Medicare, and VA systems.
 
The headlong rush to ‘do something’ can only result in huge mistakes being made.  Many of the problems that we currently face in healthcare can be addressed by some simple reforms that would empower citizens and physicians to manage healthcare and bring more free market discipline to the healthcare sector.  Here are some examples: Allow everyone to get the same health insurance tax benefit that only employers receive today, open up the health insurance market so that individuals can purchase from a provider in any state, expand/enhance the use of HSAs, and tort reform.
 
Please do not fall for the notion that government programs solve problems.  America became great and is great not because the American government is great but because the American people are free and good.  The role of the government is to protect that freedom and allow every American to succeed or fail according to their own abilities and efforts.  Please do not forget that the government exists to serve the citizens not the other way around.
 
We are praying for you and your colleagues.

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